Nearly 50,000 men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. The five-year survival rate is 83 percent with early discovery. That figure drops to about 50 percent when oral cancer is detected in late stages. The dentists at Eastland Dental Center in Bloomington, IL utilize VELscope, an advanced oral cancer screening device, for enhanced visualization of abnormal oral tissues.

About oral cancer screening

Oral cancer can begin in the lips, lining of the lips and cheeks, gums, tongue, bottom of the mouth, hard palate, roof of the mouth, tonsils, or upper throat. These components are essential to overall wellness, helping us breathe, eat, and speak.

There are many types of cancer specific to the oral cavity. Research indicates that risk factors include HPV16 (a strain of the human papilloma virus), compromised immune system, a history of cancer, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Oral cancer screening is part of every comprehensive checkup at Eastland Dental Center. It begins with the dentist’s visual evaluation of soft tissues to search for signs of precancerous conditions or cancer. We may also recommend VELscope to identify abnormal cells in the mouth that are not visible to the human eye. This technique helps to reveal oral cancer early, when there is the greatest chance for cure.

Powerful tool for detection

VELscope is a handheld device that helps the dentist and hygienist see abnormalities in oral tissues. Benefits of adding VELscope to your checkups include:

  • Painless – The mouth is illuminated with a special blue light that does not harm oral tissues. No anesthesia is needed.
  • No dyes – VELscope causes soft tissues of the mouth to fluoresce naturally. Disruptions in normal, healthy oral mucosa are readily visible.
  • Quick – About two minutes.

Call our office at Eastland Dental Center in Bloomington, IL at (309) 663-4711 to learn more about oral cancer screening.

Eastland Dental Center

Eastland Dental Center is owned and operated by the father-daughter duo, Dr. Mike Milligan and Dr. Marisa Milligan.

Dr. Mike completed his doctor of dental medicine degree from Southern Illinois University in 1978. Dr. Marisa completed her doctor of dental medicine degree from Midwestern University in 2015. Both doctors have logged hundreds of hours of continuing education to stay on top of the latest technologies in dentistry as well as the most current research on the oral-systemic, mouth-body connection to benefit their patients. Dr. Mike and Dr. Marisa are active members and in excellent standing with the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, McLean County Dental Association, American Academy of Oral Systemic Health, and numerous other societies.

Both doctors are avid golfers and have won several national golf tournaments over the years. They are the only father-daughter team in the state to have won the Illinois State Amateur Golf Championship. Dr. Mike in 1974 and Dr. Marisa in 2005.